Study Guide

Indian History August Movement or Quit India Movement and Reasons to Fail

Indian History August Movement or Quit India Movement and Reasons to Fail

Quit India Movement Reasons to Fail: Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement (also known as the August Movement) on August 8, 1942, at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee, calling for an end to British rule in India.

Why was Cripps’ Mission formed?

In March 1942, the British government sent a delegation to India, known as the Cripps Mission, led by Stafford Cripps, Leader of the House of Commons, in response to the deterioration of the war situation in Europe and growing dissatisfaction among Indian troops and civilians on the subcontinent and their unwillingness to participate in the war.

The mission’s objective was to negotiate with the Indian National Congress to seek complete support and cooperation in return for promising the distribution of power from the crown and Viceroy to an elected Indian legislature after the war.

The discussions failed as they did not address the major demands for a time frame for self-government and for the powers to be relinquished and essentially offered a restricted dominion status that the Indian movement could not accept.

The Cripps Mission failed to gain Indian support for the British war effort. On August 8, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi Ji made a call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay. A mass protest was organised by the All India Congress Committee, which demanded “an orderly British withdrawal” from India.

To suppress the movement in its initial stage, almost the entire leadership of the Indian National Congress was imprisoned without trial within hours of Gandhi’s speech.

The Viceroy’s Council, the Hindu Mahasabha, the All India Muslim League, the princely states, the Indian Imperial Police, the British Indian Army, and the Indian Civil Service all backed and supported the British. Many Indian businessmen who benefited from substantial wartime spending opposed the Quit India Movement.

The only outside support came from US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who pressured Prime Minister Winston Churchill to give in to some of the Indian demands.

The Quit India movement was effectively suppressed. The British refused to grant independence right away, claiming that it could only happen after the war ended.

Who Opposed Quit India Movement: Opposition to the Quit India Movement

Several active political groups opposed Mahatma Gandhi’s call for the Quit India movement.

The Hindu Mahasabha openly opposed and officially boycotted the Quit India Movement. Then-president of Mahasabha Hindu, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, even wrote a letter titled “To stick to your posts,” in which he advised Hindu Sabhaites who were members of municipalities, local authorities, legislatures, or military servants, to stick to their posts and not to join the Quit India Movement at any cost.

However, after receiving requests and persuasions and realising the significance of Indian freedom, he decided to join the Indian independence movement.

In response to the official decision of the Hindu Mahasabha to boycott Quit India, the leader of the Hindu Mahasabha in Bengal, Syama Prasad Mukherjee, wrote a letter to the British government advising them of how they should respond if Congress called for Quit India.

Suppression of the movement

Because major leaders were arrested, the AICC session on August 9th was presided over by a young and relatively unknown Aruna Asaf Ali, who hoisted the flag; the Congress party was later banned. These actions only increased public sympathy for the cause.

Despite the lack of direct leadership, large protests and demonstrations were held across the country. But later, the British suppressed all protests, resulting in the end of the movement.

Learn More

Link: Download latest current affairs pdf


Quit India Movement-Wikipedia. (2013, August 1). Quit India Movement-Wikipedia.